Grand Ledge’s varsity football team did just about everything needed to win its 2012 opening season game at East Kentwood. The only thing head coach Matt Bird’s team didn’t do was outscore the Falcons as they fell, 40-30 on Aug. 23.
Grand Ledge ran 82 offensive plays to EK’s 46. Grand Ledge rushed for 193 yards and passed for another 194 for 387 yards of total offense.
Meanwhile the Falcons tallied 198 yards rushing (115 of them on three carries) and passed for just 31 yards for 229 yards of total offense.
Grand Ledge added 21 first downs while the Falcons moved the chains just nine times.
But, the Comets also led in turnovers with four, all of them costly including three pass interceptions deep in Falcons scoring territory. The Falcons also scooped up a fumble and carried it untouched into the end zone for a 20 yard touchdown.
All in all the four critical mistakes was a nightmare for the Comets who jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead with two minutes to play in the first quarter.
Gifted junior tailback Joe Reverman sliced, dodged and plowed his way to 193 yards on 35 carries. He also scored the first touchdown on a three-yard run just four minutes into the game. His score capped a 10 play 84 yard drive.
Senior placekicker Bradlee Taylor showed his tremendous improvement during the off season as he towered the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Six minutes later Taylor gave the Comets a 10-0 lead with a perfect 21 yards field goal.
Mistake number one followed as the Falcons returned the following kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. The extra point cut the lead to 10-7 and gave the Falcons a huge energy boost with one minute to play in the first quarter.
Four minutes into the second quarter the Falcons struck again on a 38 yard burst. The extra point was wide and the Falcons went ahead 13-10.
Reverman plowed through Falcons defense for a one-yard touchdown run with just 40 seconds remaining in the half to give the Comets the lead at the half, 17-13 after Taylor’s extra point.
East Kentwood wasted no time in retaking the lead as they scored on a 49 yard run just four minutes into the second half.
One play after the following kickoff the Falcons stripped the ball and ran untouched 20 yards into the end zone for a striking blow to the Comets. The extra point put EK up 27-17.
With two minutes remaining in the third quarter the Falcons struck again on a one-yard run. The extra point was blocked and the score stood at 33-17.
Just four minutes later the Falcons struck again as they added their 27th straight unanswered point to take a commanding 40-17 lead with 8:27 to play in the game.
Grand Ledge refused to quit as they came right back with a 3-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jalen Brady to junior Tony Brand. The two point attempt was stopped and the score went to 40-23.
The Comets followed with a perfectly executed onside kick and struck again with 3:46 to play on a Brady to junior Connor Andeerson. Taylor cut the lead to 40-30.
EK then took the following kickoff and ran out the clock to savor the win.
Brady finished the night completing 18-38 for 194 yards and two touchdowns. He also tossed the three critical interceptions.
Senior Ben Cornell pulled down six passes for 59 yards. Anderson added two catches for 12 yards. Brand also had two for 17 yards. Reverman added three for 40 yards, junior Keefer Johnson one for 11 yards, junior Andre Carter two for 23 yards and senior Will Farr two for 32 yards.
Meanwhile the defense was solid minus the big plays that the Falcons took advantage of. Senior Redman Riggs led the defense with seven tackles and senior Jacob Quain added six. Carter added a pass interception.